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Margaret Casely-Hayford announced as chair of Shakespeare’s Globe

Margaret Casely-Hayford, who will become chair of Shakespeare's Globe Margaret Casely-Hayford, who will become chair of Shakespeare's Globe
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Shakespeare’s Globe has appointed Margaret Casely-Hayford as its new chair.

She replaces Michael Bichard, who leaves after three years as chair, having served throughout the controversy surrounding Emma Rice’s departure and her criticisms of the board’s decision.

Casely-Hayford has worked for nine years as director of legal services and company secretary for John Lewis, as well as being chair of start-up Ultra Education and last year becoming the first female chancellor of Coventry University.

Speaking as her appointment was announced, Casely-Hayford emphasised the importance of accessibility to the arts, and said: “I’ve always disliked seeing the arts weaponised and used as a tool to carve out and perpetuate the distance between the privileged and everyone else.

“So it is an honour and a joy to be at the helm of an organisation that strives to make sure that its rich cultural heritage is accessible and available to all.”

Globe chief executive Neil Constable added: “With a wealth of experience in senior roles across the public and private sectors, [Casely-Hayford] has an excellent understanding of the needs of a complex organisation with international profile and reach. Her legal, business and charitable expertise will be enormously valuable to us.”

Casely-Hayford joins as incoming artistic director Michelle Terry prepares to take over the building full-time in April.